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Year 2005 No. 45, April 11, 2005 ARCHIVE HOME JBBOOKS SUBSCRIBE

Independent Anti-War Candidate to Stand in South Shields

Workers' Daily Internet Edition: Article Index :

Independent Anti-War Candidate to Stand in South Shields

Elect Reg Keys

Reg Keys Begins Election Campaign

Rose Gentle to Stand in East Kilbride

Don't Let the Warmonger Off the Hook

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Independent Anti-War Candidate to Stand in South Shields

The South Tyneside anti-war movement has selected Nader A-Naderi as an Independent candidate for the South Shields constituency in the General Election. The following is his election communication of Wednesday, April 6, 2005.

            South Shields trader Nader A-Naderi today announced that he is standing in the general election as an independent local candidate for the town.

            Nader, 48, who is part of the Aquila Computers family business in Laygate, said: “I am fighting to win – which is to get the best possible result for the people of South Shields. It seems as if many people in this town have ceased to believe in their own capabilities. We have to regain that belief – and turn people who feel like losers into winners.”

            Nader believes the main parties now act in their own interests, not in the interests of the people.

            He said: “People don't need professional politicians to lead them, they can take control of their own lives. Locally, no one can do this better than we who live here and have invested our precious lives in this town.”

            Iranian-born Nader has lived and worked in South Shields for more than two decades. He married locally and has a wife and son. He is highly qualified as a computer scientist as well as being a practical trader in information technology equipment.

            His election agent Philip Talbot, 41, of St Cuthbert's Avenue, South Shields, said: “I was born and bred in this town and recognise Nader as the best possible genuine local candidate for the town in 2005.

            “Nader cares about South Shields and will stand up for its interests – unlike the sitting MP David Miliband, who seems to represent the interests of Westminster in South Shields, rather than the interests of South Shields in Westminster.

            “I have voted Labour all my life, and gave Mr Miliband the benefit of the doubt when he was parachuted into South Shields from London just before the last general election. I believe he has betrayed my trust in him over the last four years and has betrayed the town he claims to represent. I could not vote for him or his party this time.

            “I also note that the candidates for the two other main parties do not live or work here either.”

            Nader has been active in politics for many years, and has stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate. But he is disillusioned with what he sees as the dishonesties of the political process and feels he can no longer support any of the main parties.

            He is concerned that more and more people are not voting, but believes this cannot be written off as “voter apathy” – he thinks people are making a statement by not voting. By standing himself, he hopes to give disillusioned voters a real alternative to vote for.

            Nader believes it is important for citizens to remain active even when they are disillusioned.

            As one of the founders of the South Tyneside Stop the War Coalition, he has been working locally and nationally over the past few years as part of the developing global anti-war movement.

            He is angry that sitting MP David Miliband falsely told the people of South Shields there was “overwhelming evidence” Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, including anthrax and nerve gas, before the war began.

            [Source: Shields Gazette, 15 March 2003.]

            “There is overwhelming evidence that that claim was just a lie by Mr Miliband, intended to trick the people of South Shields into going along with the war plans,” Nader said.

            Nader is appalled by the way hate and fear are now being used in the “war on terror” to divide people – in order to prop up in power political leaders whom he sees as bankrupt of ideas and morals, and shielded from reality in a make believe world.

            He says: “I don't claim to have all the answers, but I am damned if I am going to sit back, do nothing, and not look for better answers. I cannot do this alone, and I know that there are a lot of other people who find themselves in my position and without any voice – we are the majority, yet fail to get proper representation.”

            Nader thinks that to refresh politics there has to be a real competition of ideas – rather than the pretty vacant sound-bite and photo opportunity charade that now passes for political debate.

            As a computer scientist and IT businessman, one of Nader's major concerns is the way modern communications systems, which could be used to liberate people, are instead being used to imprison people.

            He says: “People are being reduced to brainwashed consumers of throwaway products made elsewhere – instead of being expanded into truly empowered cosmopolitan citizens, making things and trading things, and taking responsibility for their own lives and their own futures.

            “With innovative new technologies, we-the-people need to approach governance with innovative new methods. We are already creating our own organisations, our own media, and our own communities. We are acting locally but thinking globally.”

            Nader is also very concerned about the way the climate of fear and increase in state power in the so-called “war on terror” is making people more suspicious of unfamiliar people – in ways that are breaking up normal human relations.

            “It is as if an English person's home is no longer a castle but a prison,” he said.

            As a businessman he is also concerned about the effects the “war on terror” is having on trade – which relies on trust and a stable trading environment.

            He said: “There is no doubt that the world is a less stable place because of the 'war on terror'. Peace and stability is the best way to create a strong economy. War is only a destructive waste of humanity, resources and money.”

            Despite all the New Labour claims of “improvements” since they came to power, Nader sees around him evidence of decay, degradation and depression – and general uncertainty and lack of direction.

            This negative atmosphere aids the continuation of the same old deadly politics, he said.

            He believes the gulf between the spin version of New Labour Britain and the reality of many people's lives in modern Britain increases cynicism.

            In a traditional Labour seat like South Shields, he thinks people are right to feel their loyalty to that party has been taken for granted and betrayed.

            “If they are betraying loyal voters who supported them during all those long years of opposition, then something is rotten in the state of New Labour Britain,” he said.

            The sitting MP David Miliband is in Nader's view a prime example of the dishonest trickery of New Labour spin.

            He sees Mr Miliband as a mediocre man dressed up by image-makers into a “bright spark” of modern politics and a “potential future prime minister”.

            Nader says: “If a limited man like Mr Miliband is seriously touted as a future prime minister, then what kind of limited future does this suggest for us all?”

Article Index

Press Release:

Elect Reg Keys

c/o Military Families against the War

27 Britannia St

London WC1X 9JP 

 Based on a Lie
 "The war was based on two lies. The first was that we were endangered from
 weapons of mass destruction. The second was that Iraq was somehow to blame for
 9/11. It has been a tragedy for all of the families that have lost members.

As many as one hundred thousand may have died, half of them women and children.
 If this is not a war crime, what is it?"

 Professor Stephen Hawking
 November 2004

Dear Friend,

Reg Keys lost his son Tom in Iraq, in a war declared illegal by Kofi Annan. He is one of many bereaved parents who feel betrayed by our Prime Minister.

Tony Blair was instrumental in leading us into a war on evidence that never existed, on threats of attack for which Iraq had no capability.

Reg Keys has decided to stand in the Sedgefield constituency against the Prime Minister at the forthcoming election.

He needs your help. We are confident that Reg Keys can be the anti-war unity candidate standing in Sedgefield. He is backed by all the military families who have spoken out against the war.

Our democracy has been undermined by the fact that not only were we taken to war against the wishes of the people of this country but Parliament was lied to by our leading politician.

Will you support Reg Keys? A small contribution will enable Reg to make his voice heard. We will be placing advertisements in national newspapers publicising Reg's reasons for standing in this election.

Please make cheques out to Reg Keys [elect05] – account number 40783099 – sort code 20/69/17.
Credit card payments can be made via Andrew Burgin 07939 242229

Time is short. Please help!  


Article Index

Reg Keys Begins Election Campaign

Reg Keys , founder member of Military Families Against the War, launched his campaign to contest the Sedgefield constituency in the forthcoming general election on 6 April 2005, in Ferryhill, Co Durham.

            Introducing Reg Keys, Bob Clay, former Labour MP for Sunderland North who is acting as agent, said:
“We will be running a serious campaign with a full voter canvass. I believe Reg Keys has a real chance of winning this constituency from Blair and I consider it an honour to support him."

            Martin Bell, former Independent MP for Tatton , said:
“Reg Keys has rapidly established himself as Tony Blair's main challenger. For once, an election in Sedgefield will be a contest, not a procession. A vote for Reg is a vote for real democracy.

            From my own experience in Tatton, and Dr Richard Taylor's in Wyre Forest, I know that it takes three essential elements for an Independent campaign to succeed: a good cause, a well-known candidate and an unpopular incumbent. In Sedgefield we have all three.

            I count it an honour and a privilege to support Reg Keys. He is not a politician, but he is the sort of man that a politician should be: brave, committed, caring and truthful. His campaign has started brilliantly. It has the potential to change the political landscape."

            Musician Brian Eno said:
"I sense a process going on in government, led by Blair himself, of the gradual dismemberment of democracy. I regard Reg Keys’s campaign as a way of halting this process and of separating off the Blair tendency from the Labour Party itself."

            Reg Keys said:
"Tony Blair led this country into an illegal war on the basis of weapons of mass destruction which did not exist, and he asks us, with his schoolboy grin, to put this behind us. I’m sorry Mr Blair, but there has to be accountability ­ you cannot just walk away from this with impunity. I am here to hold you to account for the human and material costs of this war."

            Further events will include the Blair Challenge and the Keys Manifesto launch.

Article Index

Rose Gentle to Stand in East Kilbride

Rose Gentle has released the following statement:


I have decided to stand in the forthcoming General Election in the constituency of East Kilbride, Straven & Lesmahagow against the sitting Labour MP Adam Ingram, the Armed Forces Minister.

            Many of you are aware of my story. Last summer my son Gordon was killed in Iraq . He was one of 86 Britons who have died in Iraq , out of a total 1,701 coalition troop deaths. Iraqi deaths, including civilians, are estimated to be in the range of 100,000.

            The reason we went to war in Iraq was to rid the world of the threat of weapons of mass destruction. We were told that weapons of mass destruction could strike our cities with only 45 minutes warning.

            That was a lie – one lie among many. Our government lied to us. It was a lie that cost my son his life. They should be ashamed of themselves.

            If my son had died for a noble cause, I would be just as heartbroken. If my son had died defending his country, I would have cried just as many tears. A noble and just cause would be some wee consolation for my boy’s death.

            But my son died for a lie and I want justice. Justice is two things. It is seeing that people get what they deserve. And it is making things right, the way they are supposed to be. A just society would be one in which young people join the military to serve their country with honour and not because they have no other economic options.

            Like many youngsters across the country, Gordon joined up for the promise of escaping poverty for a better future – to travel and learn a trade. Yet with only 6 months training he was sent to die in Iraq , without even having the proper equipment.

            We need policies which offer hope for the future. Many people feel betrayed because they believe this Government's priorities are all wrong. I believe the billions of pounds wasted on this criminal war would be better spent on providing good pensions for our elderly and decent jobs for our youngsters.

            Adam Ingram and all those other MPs who voted for war in the House of Commons share the blame for the death of Gordon and all the other victims of Bush and Blair’s war for oil.

            3 days ago I was informed that the military have been investigating Gordon’s death since February and that the investigation is due to run until June. My family have received no information about the investigation, and nor have the Barrister or Lawyers that are representing us in our effort to sue the government over Gordon’s death.

            The leaders of our country who dragged us into this war will probably not get the justice they deserve. My son Gordon is never coming back.

            But we can make things right. We can elect a government that listens to the people. We can elect a government that will not lie. We must bring our troops home safe, where they belong.

            My name is Rose Gentle. I am standing for Parliament. I am standing for justice.

Article Index

Don't Let the Warmonger Off the Hook

by Scott Ritter*, April 3, 2005, The Independent

Former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has secured his place in history, not as a great American military leader, national security advisor, or diplomatic representative of his country, but rather the dupe who peddled false intelligence data to the Security Council of the United Nations on that fateful day on 5 February 2003, sealing the US case for war with Iraq. Powell, once revered as an American hero, will be remembered as Bush's shill for a sham case for war, waxing eloquently: "What we're giving you are facts and conclusions based on solid intelligence" for ever fixed in the minds of the more than 150 million people who watched him that day.

            Powell repeated his role this past week when, in an interview with the German magazine Stern, he reflected on his historical moment before the council: "The CIA believed there were weapons of mass destruction," Powell said. "The president believed it. I believed it. Still, it was wrong. I did not know this at the time." Ever the good soldier, Powell this past week performed another service in defence of this charade: pre-empting a damning report on the CIA's intelligence about Iraqi WMD which was released a day after Powell's interview. This report, a product of the Presidential Commission on Intelligence and WMD, is critical of what it calls the CIA's failure to accurately assess the true status of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities in the lead-up to the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.

            The Presidential Commission's report speaks of the "worthless or misleading" assessments produced by the CIA. Building on the foundation established by Colin Powell, the commission placed blame for this failure on the CIA, quashing any notion of political pressure influencing the assessments by emphasising that: "The analysts who worked on Iraqi weapons issues universally agreed that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments". This is a curious statement, given the fact that the CIA's October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, used to justify the decision to go to war against Iraq, was published almost two months after President Bush made his decision to invade Iraq. The commission, in an understatement, did note: "It is hard to deny the conclusion that intelligence analysts worked in an environment that did not encourage scepticism about the conventional wisdom."

            As the commission's own report shows, when it came to Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction programs, the CIA had ceased to function as a professional intelligence agency, tasked with discerning fact, and instead had transformed itself into a clearing house of rumour and speculation. In this diseased environment, defector reports that under any other circumstance would have been discarded as fictitious were certified as viable and then used to germinate numerous other corroborating intelligence reports that were treated as separate accounts, and yet had as their genesis the same errant report. In the same way, intellectual "traps" were manufactured where a hypothesis which postulated Iraqi guilt were constructed, together with the notion that any information that was uncovered which contradicted this hypothesis was to be dismissed as being part of an elaborate Iraqi "cover story".

            The Presidential Commission's report smoothes over the role played by the British government in promulgating falsehoods about Iraq's WMD programs The September 2002 "dossier" on Iraqi WMD capabilities has already gone down in history as a totally discredited work. Like the just-released US WMD report, the British carried out their own charade of an investigation into its intelligence failures, known as the Butler Commission. The commission was averse to any notion that it was pressure from policy makers that produced the inaccurate analysis of Iraqi WMD, and as such its report cannot be seen as anything more that yet another whitewash, designed to shift blame for the Iraq WMD intelligence analysis debacle away from Prime Minister Blair and on to the shoulders of the British intelligence community.

            In the end, it is the policymakers – British and American alike – who must shoulder the responsibility for the Iraqi WMD fiasco. This was very much an elective war, not a conflict of necessity. In their headlong rush to get rid of Saddam Hussein, George Bush and Tony Blair violated not only international law and the moral character of their own respective democratic constituencies, but also the intellectual integrity of the very intelligence services the citizens they are responsible for depend on to help guide them through a dangerous world.

            The Presidential Commission says that the CIA was "dead wrong" when it came to assessing Iraqi WMD capabilities, but the fact of the matter is that it is George Bush and Tony Blair who were dead wrong, to the tune of over 1,500 American, nearly 90 British, and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives lost, in pursuing a war on such blatantly false premises.

            The American people have already shown themselves to be culpable in legitimising this tragedy by re- electing George Bush, the chief architect of this disaster, as president of the United States. In the weeks to come, the citizens of Great Britain will have a chance to carve their names in the annals of history, either slavishly repeating the same mistake of their American cousins by re-electing a man who is responsible for a massive violation of international law, or establishing the viability of British democracy as a lasting bastion of the rule of law by voting out Tony Blair. This will send a clear and lasting signal to those on the Presidential Commission and the Butler Commission that illegal wars of aggression are the responsibility of the politicians who order them, not the intelligence officials who justify them.

* Scott Ritter was UN chief weapons inspector in Iraq from 1991 to 1998 and is author of “Iraq Confidential: The Untold Story of America's Intelligence Conspiracy”, which is to be published in the summer by IB Tauris & Co.

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